WNBA offers President for a Day contest on FanDuel
NEW YORK (AP) Ever wanted to be the WNBA president for a day? Here's your chance.
FanDuel is offering a free tournament next week and the winner will get to tour the WNBA offices with President Lisa Borders. The winner will also get a photo with the WNBA trophy and have lunch with a legend of the league, among other prizes.
''It was an idea that was jointly developed by WNBA and FanDuel,'' Borders wrote in an email to The Associated Press. ''We have a great partnership, and wanted to come up with a truly unique idea that fans would be excited about.''
The WNBA has done pretty well on the daily fantasy site, bringing new fans to the sport. As of early Thursday night there were nearly 17,000 people in the WNBA President for a Day contest. Count Travis Mangone as one of those entered and also a new fan of the league. The longtime daily fantasy player is also an analyst and columnist for the website RotoGrinders. He writes about the WNBA and ordered League Pass for the first time this year after occasionally watching games in the past. He loved the idea of the new contest.
''It's fun. I said to my friend, the one thing I would do (if I was president) would be to try to make an impact on one thing that would be fantasy-related,'' Mangone said. ''I would want to make sure lineups and news are out ahead of time.''
While making policy decisions isn't part of the winner's prize, Mangone would definitely discuss it with Borders if he won.
As of right now, WNBA lineups are due 10 minutes before the opening tip. Not all 12 teams tweet out their lineups, making it difficult for fantasy players to know who's starting sometimes. Also as of right now, there is no rule - just a guideline - on injuries. Teams aren't required to release injury information until the game starts.
''It's the most frustrating thing for fantasy players, not getting injury news in time,'' Mangone said. ''Lineups we can try and predict, but we'd love to know an injury situation.''
With few beat writers covering teams, it makes it more difficult for fantasy players to get last-minute information.
Last Friday, the WNBA had all 12 teams playing. That night, FanDuel offered a game with a $25,000 prize to the winner. DraftKings, the other major daily fantasy site, had its own big tournament that evening as well.
That night, a leak in the roof in Washington caused the Mystics' game against Connecticut to be postponed. The league announced Thursday that the game will be made up on Aug. 29.
But the postponement wasn't revealed until a few minutes after fantasy players could no longer change their lineups, giving them no points for any WNBA player they had in that game.
''It was frustrating, for sure,'' Mangone said. ''People who complained to FanDuel did get some of their money back. Rarely do you see weather coming into play in basketball.''
The President for a Day contest is the latest fun thing the WNBA has done to entice new fans. The league also announced a deal Thursday with EA Sports to have WNBA teams featured in its NBA Live18 game this fall.
''Bringing our fans closer to the game through the latest technology is critical to the WNBA's growth strategy,'' Borders wrote. ''In partnering with FanDuel, Twitter and EA, we have found innovative ways to engage with our passionate supporters and connect with new audiences. Our goal is to make the league accessible to fans on a variety of platforms. Wherever they are, that's where we want to be.''
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